Abuse-Can Be Subtle and Deadly

People hear the word “abuse” and assume physical violence, but there are many forms of abuse. There are your run of the mill a-holes, wife beaters and cheaters and then in a class all of their own, are narcissists/psychopaths. Even narcissism has varying levels of abuse and degrees of severity, some narcissists, although cheaters and liars never physically abuse their partner and are able to hold down jobs. At the other end of the spectrum are the narcissists who destroy all who come in contact with them. It has taken me a long time to accept I was involved with a narcissist and even longer to realize and accept how truly evil he was and the danger I was in. One of the most powerful weapons the abuser has to keep the victim in the relationship is the victim’s own denial.

In my quest for answers I came across a couple who claimed he was a narcissist and she, through her love for him, discovered how to “cure” him. For anyone to claim they can cure a narcissist is a dangerous game to play. As is typical of the victim, my hope was restored and I clung to any remote chance; I could “cure” my ex also. I was quick to grasp at anything that indicated if I tried harder, was more understanding and loved unconditionally I could save the relationship and my ex. That was almost 15 years ago, I don’t know if they are still around but you would figure if it was possible to cure a narcissist the internet would be full of testimonial about their discovery. Never think you can love the narcissist well, or if you try just a little harder to please him things will be ok. We are strong women, we tend to think we can give a little more, bend a little farther and then we find ourselves in too deep to extricate ourselves.

I read somewhere that a woman will stay in or go back to an abusive relationship as long as she feels there is something she can do to “fix” it; until she feels she has done everything she can do, she won’t leave on her own. With my experience I can only say that the longer I stayed and the more times I went back the more severe and insidious the abuse got.

With physical abuse there are often signs of abuse, bruising etc and people are much more apt to believe the victim, come to their assistance, and support them emotionally or financially.

Emotional abuse is ambiguous and hard to prove, the victim is less likely to get support and people tend to think they are exaggerating, overly sensitive or antagonizing the abuser. Society in general does not view psychological or emotional abuse as “dangerous” and feel that if the person isn’t treating you the way you would like just leave. They don’t understand the damage done to the emotional state of the victim or the potential danger to the victim.

All abuse stems from the abusers need to control the victim, whether it is physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, or financial abuse.

A narcissist at his worst will use a combination of all the above abuse tactics and can leave the victim paralyzed, unable to make decisions, hopeless, depressed and lacking the self-confidence to help themselves. They no longer feel like themselves, having lost their soul to the narcissist, they don’t even know who they are any more and have lost all trust in a fair and just world.

The most dangerous of all abuse is Ambient Abuse, Often called “crazy-making”, or “gas lighting”, it is the stealth, and subtle, underground maltreatment that sometimes goes unnoticed even by the victims themselves until it is too late. It is ambiguous and atmospheric and very hard to pinpoint or prove; hence it’s insidious and deadly effects.

Ambient Abuse is the fostering of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability and irritation. There is no tangible evidence of abuse but the victim constantly senses a bad omen or premonition of impending doom. It is perpetrated by dropping subtle hints, by disorienting, by constant and unnecessary lying, by persistent doubting and demeaning and by inspiring an air of unmitigated gloom and doom. Insisting the victim did not see or hear what they did, hiding personal items of the victim but blaming the victim, insisting the victim said or did certain things that the victim did not do but eventually starts to doubt their own perception of reality.

Over the long-term this environment eats away at the victim’s self esteem and their self-confidence is severely damaged. Many times the victim starts to act paranoid and highly emotional, which makes them look like the mentally unstable one and the abuser is the poor suffering soul. Some examples of ambient abuse would be withholding affection or intimacy, rolling their eyes when you express an opinion or criticizing your actions “for your own good”.

There are 5 categories of ambient abuse:

Inducing Disorientation

The abuser causes the victim to lose faith in her ability to manage and cope with the world and its demands. She no longer trusts her instincts, her skills, her strengths, friends, family, or the benevolence and predictability of her environment.

The abuser challenges his target’s perception of the world, right and wrong, her judgment and offers plausible but false alternatives. my ex would always say he couldn’t handle my warped perception of reality, until I questioned myself for getting upset he was seeing other women and whether I was actually being abused. By continually criticizes her decisions he makes her doubt her ability to make wise choices. With his pathological lying he blurs the lines between reality and nightmare. He constantly violates her boundaries and disrespects her values, feelings and opinions, “deal breakers” such as drug abuse, infidelity, lying and stealing become common place and she is made to feel she is in the wrong for confronting him on his indiscretions or that somehow she is to blame for them.

For most of our relationship my ex refused to come to bed, at first he always came to bed then he would stay up until 3 or 4 am, then he was coming to bed just in time to have sex before we had to get up for work, and the last few years he rarely came to bed at all. He said he just didn’t need sleep, but he would fall asleep anywhere and everywhere, he could sleep standing he’d be so tired. He never said I was unattractive, I had always been confident sexually but after a while I lost all confidence in my ability to satisfy a man. He would say he loved me and I was over reacting to be upset he didn’t come to bed, or he would say he didn’t come to bed because I didn’t make him feel welcome in bed. I would make more of an effort and be told I was being too pushy and needy.

By overreacting to the slightest mistake on her part and setting her up with demands impossible to meet he intimidates her to the point of paralysis.


The abuser gradually takes control over the victim’s freedom and ability to be self-sufficient (i.e.: their vehicle is never working, they lose their job, loss of friends and support system due to never being able to entertain or attend events because of the N) it is very subtle and done in such a way that the victim doesn’t realize what is happening until it is too late. Then they find themselves isolated from the outer world and a hostage to the goodwill – or ill will of their captor.

The abuser engineers impossible, dangerous, and unpredictable situations where his skills or knowledge is sorely needed. He orchestrates circumstances where his specific skills, connections, or traits are the only ones useful and helpful. In this way he creates his own indispensability; giving him another reason to resent his victim and another excuse to be angry with her for being needy. (my ex used to sabotage my vehicle, I would have no choice but to call for his help and he would make me wait hours and make it sound like it was a HUGE inconvenience and effort on his part to help me, but acted like the benevolent rescuer when he got there. He also got me evicted from every place I lived or we lived making us homeless and me dependent on him for everything) Right up to the last day we were together he constantly told me I would never find a man who would rescue me like he always had and I believed him. The truth is, I had many men willing to help me when my ex was out of the picture but my vehicle didn’t break down like it did when I was with my ex either.

Shared Psychosis

The abuser creates a fantasy world inhabited by the victim and himself besieged by imaginary enemies. The enemies may be people they know, (or totally made up) these people are plotting against them, lying to them or about them, basically “out to get them, and destroy their relationship” and she is expected to stand by him, fight against these enemies, lie, and pretend. She is continually “tested” and must prove her continued affiliation and support of him.

Eventually this constant stress reduces the victim’s resistance and ability to “see straight”. At one point my son lived with us and my ex tried to convince me that my son wanted to murder us in our sleep. He said he woke up in the middle of the night with my son standing by the bed just staring at us. Many years later his son came to live with us and within a short time he was telling me he had woken up in the middle of the night with his son standing beside the bed staring at us while we slept. He told me he had found ashes under the trailer we lived in and his son had tried to burn the trailer while we slept.

Abuse Of Information

From the first moment the abuser meets his victim he is collecting information. He will reveal just enough dirt about his past to put his target at ease so they feel safe opening up about their fears, indiscretions, and weak areas. The more he knows about his potential victim the easier it is for him to coerce, charm, manipulate and extort her. Whereas he was sympathetic when he first meets her once the mask drops he will use any information he has to belittle, criticize, discredit, and embarrass. He has no qualms using information he gleans to achieve his goals or destroy the target.

Control By Proxy

If all else fails the abuser will recruit a third-party to do his bidding. That 3rd party could be family, friends, institutions, teachers, the media, the authorities, and he uses them to cajole, threaten, stalk, harass, communicate, and otherwise manipulate his target. He controls these unaware accomplices exactly as he controls his victim and dumps them unceremoniously when the job is done.

Many narcissists do not physically abuse their victims, they are able to control them through psychological and emotional abuse which is much less likely to be detected and it’s much easier to deny and make the victim look crazy. My ex strangled me once (and denied it, according to him he didn’t strangle me or choke me, he just had his hands around my neck) and he hit me a handful of times in the 10 yrs we were together. There was no need to hit me, like most women after he hit  me the first time all he had to do was come at me with his fist raised and I would back down, but near the end even backing down didn’t stop him. It was as if he knew it was ending and he had nothing to lose by not holding back.  We went several years without him actually hitting me, but like my son said, that doesn’t mean he’s changed it just means you walk on eggshells.

What we all forget as victims is: IT IS NEVER OK FOR A MAN TO HIT A WOMAN (vise versa) there is absolutely no excuse for hitting a woman unless she was coming at him with a knife. There is nothing a woman can do that justifies getting hit, he can walk away, hit a wall if he has to hit something but she can not MAKE him hit her. Another thing we have to remind ourselves of: He knows exactly what he is doing and that it is wrong, he expects you to lie about it to everyone and if someone came to the door he would stop. If he was so justified in what he was doing there would be no need to lie and IF life with you is so unbearable that he feels he has no choice but to hit you then he needs to leave the relationship, BEFORE he finds your replacement!

Narcissists control by keeping their victim off-balance, another tactic for this is to not respond to something that would normally send them into a rage. They appear unaffected by an argument and act as if nothing happened leaving the victim waiting for the shoe to drop. Have no doubt that the narcissist will get revenge; he is the king of passive aggressive behavior that punishes the victim. He will take or destroy something of value to the victim. It could be weeks or months after the incident when the victim realizes a treasured possession in missing or broken, of course the N will deny knowing anything about it. This is most likely to happen when her focus is shifted on something other than the N, perhaps a child or other family member she is concerned about, anything that takes the attention off the N. (In 10 years I had all my clothes stolen, my photos had anti freeze dumped on them, memento’s were lost, my son’s baby teeth disappeared but the container they were in was in my ex’s music room, 3 vehicles were stolen, my vehicles were tampered with, the amount of hours I spent broken down on the side of the road would boggle your mind, almost weekly I would need him to rescue me, he made me miss events that were of immense importance to me, I was unable to finish my college education, every single piece of personal property I had was destroyed or stolen. I do not own anything today that I owed 16 years ago, nothing. Oh sorry, a few Christmas decorations, that is it)

The best indicator that you are a victim of ambient abuse is your gut; throughout the 10 years of my relationship with my ex I denied what my gut was telling me. And I wish with all my heart that you believe me when I say; it does not get better, his apologies mean nothing, he is only manipulating you further. Get out!! Before it’s too late.

Link to a post from 2012 one year after JC and I split, You can’t be first but you can be next http://wp.me/p1wKh3-kb


367 thoughts on “Abuse-Can Be Subtle and Deadly

  1. Pingback: Our Truth Cancels Out The Narcissist's Delusions - My Blog

  2. Nene

    So what do you do if the have destroyed you and isolated you for soo long and you have ended up mentally ill for 20years? Where do you go for help. The person who has done this to me has a psychology degree and works in the mental health profession and has full control autonomy of my life. He has totally destroyed me because I don’t want to have a sexual relationship with him and I have never wanted to be his wife. He has gaslighted and chaos manufactured and totally destroyed my life. I’m a severe wreck and too ashamed destroyed to live. I have no one to turn to and he has had his family treat me like this also. I will take my own life as I can’t continue like this anymore. I need help and because he works in the local mental health I can’t get help there. He has destroyed me. I really need someone who can repair me. My advice to anyone is if you start to change and feel down around the person, Stop seeing them and remove them completely from your Life immediately as once They have there claws into you, they will destroy you. Get away from them at the beginning and no matter what don’t go back. Once you get to my stage(20years) your severely destroyed and it’s impossible to continue to live with the abuse any longer. But you will be so destroyed you will want to end your life. Don’t let the abuse start. LEAVE IMMEDIATELY IF YOU START TO FEEL SOMETHINGS NOT RIGHT OR YOU FEEL DOWN. I KNEW AT THE START SOMETHING WASNT RIGHT AND I BELIEVED WHAT HE SAID AND LET HIM BRAINWASH ME. I WAS EXTREMELY OUTGOING WITH LOADS OF FRIENDS AND A GOOD JOB AND WITHIN MONTHS OF MEETING HIM I WAS ISOLATED WITH NO JOB, NO SELF ESTEEM AND CONSTANTLY TOLD MY PERCEPTION WAS WRONG EVEN TILL THIS DAY. YOU MUST GET OUT AT THE BEGINNING AND NEVER LET ANYONE CHANGE YOU. I HAVE NO WAY OF GETTING OUT NOW.


    1. Barbara

      Nene, I don’t know what to say at the moment, I just started to cry as I read your post. I am just sending this to tell you that we are all listening and we do care about you. Please try to stay strong.
      much love


      1. Greg

        I was with a Narc for 11 years. I went through every evil trait with her but with an extra twist at the end. 2 weeks before she left i became violently ill 20 minutes after eating a meal that she made just for me. I was like this for 2 days with violent dry heaving, severe cramps, and everything went right through me. The only 2 things she said to me was after the first hour out of nowhere she said “i suppose you think i poisoned you”, and when i walked out of the E.R. her first words were “i guess you had them check for poisons”. I never in a million years would think she would go that far but she did. The moral of the story is RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, you are dancing with the devil


        1. Barbara

          Thank goodness you survived it Greg. I suspect narcs poison people and put drugs in food more than we think. My son, who is a nasty piece of work, once offered to cook for me and before I had even finished the meal all sorts of strange things were happening to me and I felt very scared. He had said a few days previously that I ought to try drugs because I was too boring. Never even let him make me a mug of tea after that.


    2. anna c nicol

      i too have been strangled guns held to my head gaslighted lied to cheated on sexually pimped out after being drugged by him. i was also married to him for 20 years. I finally had enough and he pushed me over a limit no human could withstand, you can get out. Just leave. I did, took my daughter and my dog and ran to friend who promised to keep him away, Find a person to run to, and run. Leave immediately. find that safe house and threaten that you have already exposed him with proof of his abuse. he will run like hell. Best way to make him disappear is to expose him.


    3. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Nene, I am so sorry I did not see this sooner!! I also so sad to read the hopelessness of your comment. I really don’t know what to say that will help you. Thank you for sharing your story, I am sure that some woman will read it some day and heed your words of warning and get away.
      I wish I had some miracle solution to your situation, I wish I was a millionaire and could whisk you away and help you find happiness, find yourself again.
      It is never too late to rewrite your life. There are so many facts that are missing in your comment like if you have children, where your family is, etc. It will not be easy, but you can get away and you can start over, it feels like your life is over right now because you are still under his control but once you are away from him, you would make new friends, you could find another job, you can find yourself again and peace.
      There are shelters, hotlines, churches, and other organizations depending on where you live that can help you.
      I was jobless, no friends, no family and thought I could not survive leaving him but I did it because I knew I would kill myself if I didn’t leave. I am no longer hopeless, I have friends, old ones and new ones, I am back in touch with my family and most importantly I love me, and I live true to me now, no matter what and that gives me so much peace.
      Please consider helping yourself.
      We are here as moral support.


    4. letnblog

      (((((((((( I’m listening. )))))))))))))
      I KNOW your pain.
      I can feel your despair.
      PLEASE PLEASE DONT give up! Your abuser DOES NOT GET TO HAVE THAT POWER over you!
      There IS hope!!!
      And it’s NEVER TO LATE!!! I am keeping you in my thoughts and sending my love to


    5. Melissa

      I am struggling again. He has broken up with another woman. One that he said he was going to marry. If I don’t keep reading your blog, I just get so low and feel so awful and crazy. I have to stay strong for my three young children. I just have to keep re-reading almost every day. Thank you. I love you. Melissa


    6. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Nene, I am so sorry you have dealt with this horrific abuse for 20 years and I hope women heed your warning. I was only in it for 10 years and was ready to kill myself, I don’t know where I found the strength to leave, even as I did it, I was kinda numb and in a fog. I just knew I had to or die.
      I don’t know what to tell you, how to help you. Do you have family somewhere that would help you get away to another city where you can get mental help? Have you contacted your local abused woman’s shelter? I wish there was something concrete I could give you, but I simply don’t. Just know we/I care and I think you are an amazingly strong woman who has so much to give to the world and I beg you to not let him win, find that tiny little bit of strength and get away from him. Prove to him that you will not let him break you. You made it 20 years, you can do this!! You just have to get away, any where. once you are away you will be instantly stronger and able to think more clearly. Don’t look at the whole situation, one step at a time.
      Please stay in touch.


      1. Barbara

        Carrie, have you heard from Nene at all? Do you think possibly her husband has found her emails and put a stop to her contacting your blog? Very worried about her.


    7. Amy Knight

      Hello. Please do not take yourself “away!” Not yet! (Not ever but especially not yet…)
      There are people, such as myself, & i’m sure many more, that need advice, help, answers, etc. and just like myself as a college degree, I was unfamiliar with any of such “things,” as I had heard of narcissism before, but I never ever thought that that narcissistic world would ever be interfering and shall I say, controlling my entire life, my being, my “everything,” while feeling at a complete & utter loss. I have ZERO self worth, nor any pride nor dignity left as I feel like a complete failure. please text me anytime I am in the Grand Rapids Michigan area and myself phone number is 616-238-4654 and my landline is 616-292-9286. And, when I say call or text at “anytime,” I literally mean just that and that’s any god given time. Besides I have been unable to sleep at all. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally tired but it is as if I start to drift off to sleep and I forced myself to stay awake because I am frightened of the unknown and I’m sure you know what I mean. Please call me or text me. I know I have never met you but you can come stay with me and we can help each other out of the strange world in which we live.
      In Hopes to be Your Real new-fought forever, Friend ,
      Amy K.


  3. Kristen

    Please NEVER BELIEVE YOU CANNOT FREE YOURSELF….but it does mean you must take an action you will not feel comfortable about….like putting together a small bag and taking a taxi or walking to the police, to tell them you need protection and where is a women’s shelter you can go to, no questions asked or answered. This will be a severe action, but I guarantee you, even with only the clothes on your back, you will awake one morning soon after with “I’m free! I’m free!” running through your mind……please think seriously here and save your beautiful self


  4. sunrise

    I just learned what NPD traits are, and my new ex “boyfriend” fully fits the bill. He wanted to impregnate me immediately. I thought it was weird, but it also pulled on my baby-making strings (I am 34, no children, never been married). Yes, the sex was amazing. He refused to speak on the phone with me. He would only text on occasion, and was always traveling around in his fancy vehicle that he can barely afford. I never knew what state he was in. I finally googled him and found out he spent quite a bit of time in penitentiary for violence, including manslaughter. But that was in the 90’s, I told myself, and he has been sober for 12 years. He has transformed himself and risen above his troubled past. Then I find out he is married. I find his wife on facebook. She is more than willing to speak to me about his behaviors, and they are most certainly sinister, but those are not my stories to tell. I did encourage and hope for her to leave him. (She did!) I ended it. But weeks passed, and he was traveling through town so I agreed to meet with him, hoping for a sincere explanation. I heard his apology. I did not sleep with him, but desperately wanted to. A week or so later I gave in. It was amazing. Everything could suddenly be justified in my mind. Then someone tells me to look up NPD, and all the puzzle pieces start to come together. Realizing it was all an illusion, all a lie, makes it easy for me to turn around and walk, because I don’t need to worry about hurting his feelings. Yes, I thought there was so much potential and hope for him to heal. And that we were a fundamental match. All the signs are so clear, there is no reason why people shouldn’t know what the warning signs are, especially if they are on the dating scene. This blog has helped me immensely! Thank you! I am convinced that I have dodged a major bullet, and it is so important that you are sharing this information. Too many people are silent on these issues. Why do we not all have extensive education in spotting this type of behavior? A thousand thank yous, and so much respect to everyone who is planning to leave, has already left, and who is healing after surviving relationship trauma. It is because of those who share their stories that people like me are able to avoid such abuse. I have experienced abuse in the past, but this type of abuser exhibits different behaviors, it is true. I am continuing to work on my boundaries with the utmost commitment at this point. No back doors!


  5. Nina B

    It’s hard to just get up and leave when you thought he was the man of your dreams. It’s freaking hard when 5 days out of 6 he’s the best thing that has happened to you and then the day 6 comes and your whole world crashes and all you want to do is die. I have been with my husband for 3 years now. When I first met him I couldn’t believe someone like him existed. Everything was so amazing. He was everything I’ve ever wanted…until our first big argument. He got so mad he started calling me names, throwing stuff around, pushing, pulling even hitting me. And then turned everything around like it was my fault, ignored me for 7 days straight and never apologized for any of it. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what. I didn’t know what to say, what to do, how to act. Instead I started to change who I was. I lost all my friends, I watched what I would do, say, just so he won’t get mad. I catered to him like his was my king, all out of FEAR. And then I got pregnant. I was 3 months pregnant when he threw a frozen bag of meat at me and almost knocked me over. He put me thru hell the entire time I was pregnant. And at the same time he was taking care of me. From cooking, cleaning, massaging me. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I caught him watching porn and visiting ex-girlfriends facebook pages and said it was totally normal. He used to say I was crazy and need to get professional help. That I drive him crazy with my jealousy and he can’t take it. He calls me stupid every chance he gets. I work full time and take care of our daughter that best way I can. I never complain, well I’m no allowed to. He never likes anything I do, he hates my cooking, he talks about his mother all the time and says how everything she does is perfect. The last time we argued he blocked me from calling or texting him. I couldn’t get a hold of him for 7 days. He travels a lot so he’s always away from home. When I think about everything I can see that all the red flags were there, all the signs where there, I just couldn’t for some reason see any of it. Everytime I want to leave him something stops me. I asked myself what is it, why would i want to be with someone that hurts me, someone that says loves me but calls me names? Why? Why did this happen to me? I never cheated on him, never lied to him, I was nothing but good to him. I guess it’s not enough and there is no fixing it. I need to leave him not for my own sake but for the sake of our daughter.


  6. Lorraine

    I am now staying with my elderly mother , and caring for her with her adls , my brother has lived with her several years now, what my concern is why does my mother put up with his abuse by taking advantage of her, he has had no job for years now and no willingness to take care of himself he depends solely on our mom to take care of him he’s in his early50 . I suspect that maybe she had been threatened by him , I have seen some mental abuse, he has no compassion, doesn’t believe in God and we are stupid for thinking believing their is , we have no rights for our belief s . I’m worried not sure what to expect next from him, he is very negative, talks to himself , here lately he spends a lot of time in his room cursing, saying people are stupid, I thought he was talking about me I asked him of course it was nt at all directed to me and not worry about it. Well on the contrary he is playing a game control factors sympathy , smarter than anyone else in the world. Thank you for letting me share this story. It’s depressing to be around him and he cares nothing about or for our ailing 80 yr old mother. She was down to 87 pounds she’s always been thinn petite. But that was not healthy . She now weights 92 pounds I hope to see her at least 105 lbs . Lori


    1. Barbara

      Lorraine, I think there is a lot more going on with your brother than just being a narc. I suspect there is a mix with schizophrenia, which will make him extremely unpredictable and dangerous. So many get through life without being diagnised and psychiatrist have always tended to ignore narcs because it is untreatable, therefore the schizophrenia also often goes untreated. If they can’t give them a pill and shove them out the door they don’t want them on their books as they will not go down as a success rating.
      Does he drink and take drugs? They often do this to self medicate. They also do not want to be free of their ‘voices’ as they regard them as their only trysted friends.
      Please speak to your GP about this, get something on record and be very careful.
      Take care.


  7. Blaspie

    I need help. So, I moved to a new town about 4 years ago. I only knew one
    person. He picked me up from the airport and then introduced me to one of his
    friends. The friend he introduced me to showered me immediately with care.
    FYI, we are homosexual males. Anyways, so my new friend I met the very first
    day made it a point to show me around the city and get me used to a brand new
    atmosphere. He was dating someone at the time, but always insisted on me
    being around. In a short period of time I became a professional third wheel.
    I was around so much that I would often witness some emotional and verbal
    abuse from my friend to his boyfriend. At first I wondered why his boyfriend
    would put up with it. However, my friend did a profoundly good job of making
    it seem like the boyfriend was inadequate and ungrateful and lazy, etc. I
    soon found my friend doing some pretty awful things to get “revenge” on
    his boyfriend that were awful and some his boyfriend still doesn’t even
    know about. I watched this person I called a friend do some horrendous things
    to people, but somehow felt close to him because he always confided it in me.
    Fast forward 3 years later, and they have broken up(in a very cruel way). My
    friend decided to buy a house and asked me if I wanted to rent a room from
    him. While I friendship wasn’t always perfect(I was definitely on the
    receiving end of some silent treatments a few times) I figured it would be a
    good arrangement. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. While we inevitably
    got closer, his mask fully came off. Everything that went wrong in the house
    was my fault. I was expected to clean everything which was never discussed.
    Rent suddenly went up with no notice. He would humiliate me or mock me in
    front of guests. He would often give me the silent treatment anytime I
    questioned any of the things he did that bothered me around the house. He’s
    very social and somewhat of a playboy so there’s frequently guests or
    “dates” over regularly. It’s apparently my job to be a server, a cook,
    and a cleaner for his guests. We have a large common area that we generally
    are both in, but he has dates over so often that I’m generally pressured
    into being in my room most of the time. He constantly critiqes me, tells me
    what my problems are “because he cares” and everytime I achieve something
    he reminds me that it’s either insignificant or I got lucky and didn’t
    earn it. There have also been a few times where he actually hit me, one time
    in front of friends at a dinner party. I made a joke that he didn’t like
    and he punched me. The dinner party was immediately over as people were so
    disturbed that they left. He apologized the next day, but on top of the
    verbal abuse, I realized I am being abused. He humiliates me in public and on
    social media as well. He recently attacked me on FB for posting an opinion
    that he didn’t agree with. He attacked my opinion and me personally. I
    asked him not to do that and he unfollowed me in order to “not hurt me”
    which actually hurt more.
    My friends don’t even allow me to speak about the situation anymore because
    they say they can’t stand hearing me be hurt by this person. My friends
    don’t even come over to the house anymore because they don’t like him and
    he’s not shy about being verbally abusive towards me in front of them.
    I’ve actually had to prevent my best friend from coming over to fight him
    after he heard he had been hitting me. I get inboxes and text messaged from
    people who see how he treats me on social media and sadly, my response is to
    defend him. I don’t know why, but I don’t like people thinking he’s a
    monster or bad person. Some of my friends have offered me a place to stay
    with them until I find my own place, but I feel like if I moved out, the
    friendship would be over and he would definitely attack me. It’s just so
    hard to picture the kind, generous person I met has now turned into someone
    that acts like he hates me. Actually, there are moments where he still treats
    me well, birthdays and holidays in particular. But when things are going
    well, its like he finds weird reasons to pick fights. Just yesterday he
    called me to blame something on me that wasn’t my fault and then he hung up
    on me. And I spent hours trying to replay the situation to see if maybe it
    was my fault.
    I’ll be completely honest, during his period of being single we have been
    intimate. He initiated every part of sexual contact in the beginning and it
    was good. He is very charming, handsome, and physically fit. However, after a
    few months of casual sexual encounters all initiated by him, it stopped when
    I attempted to initiate. He went from frequently seducing me to suddenly
    saying that we are friends and shouldn’t cross that line anymore. This
    happened when I wanted it. We’ve been intimate here and there the past few
    months and again, he initiated it although he previously said he didn’t
    want to cross that line anymore. This always makes me feel awful.
    Please, what kind of world am I trapped in?


    1. Barbara

      Blaspie, at the moment you are trapped in the narcs web of torture. He will haul you back in when he feels you are at the point of leaving, and then torture you some more. They are so good at manipulation, one minute you see it all clearly, and the next you think it is ridiculous that someone can actually behave that way and you start to doubt yourself. You think you are imagining it, over reacting or you are to blame. You are not to blame. You are the victim of an evil narc. You saw how his boyfriend was a pathetic victim when you first met him. Now that victim is you. Imagine what he is telling others about you. You know deep down that your gut instinct is right and you must get out of there. You do not deserve what is happening to you. Listen to your friends. Trust their judgement to see what is best for you, as your own brain and decision making is not working too well at the moment – understandably.

      Take some moments to calm yourself and gather your strength. Gradually plan your move from his house regarding your belongings. Perhaps start to move little bits that he will not notice to a friends. It may help you get leaving process fixed in your brain. DO NOT whatever you do, tell him you are going to move out. If you do his rage and or manipulation will intensify and who do you think will win in a battle of wills between you? He will..

      You are very lucky to have so many friends who want to help you. They must care for you very much. Take strength from that. Tell them you are ready to make plans to move. Keep it secret.

      You know the narc will not improve, things can only get worse. Step off that rollercoaster. Do not look back or fall for any sob story. Start now to plan and look forward to the rest of your life.

      Good luck.


      1. Blaspie

        I just don’t know what to do. I used to be a happy, cheery, fun person. Now everyday I’m scared. When his face pops up on my text screen I always freeze before opening because I don’t know if I’m going to get a nice text or a text berating me for doing something wrong. Now I literally feel like I can’t do anything right. And for the past few days he keeps asking me if something is bothering me. I know if I tell him he hurts me then he would just get mad so I say nothing is wrong.


        1. Barbara

          You can be a happy, cheery, fun person again. YOU WILL be a happy, cheery, fun person again. I know it is hard to feel positive when you are so dragged down, but you must have faith in yourself. You must plan your exit Blaspie, you cannot risk leaving it until you collapse in a pool of tears, you will never be able to think straight at all then.
          Do you have a place to go?
          Do you have a job and money?
          If so then you must go, as soon as possible. Speak to your friends. Tell them you need them to help you now and that you promise that this time you are going to do it.
          By the way, does he check your browsing history? He probably does so be careful.


          1. Blaspie

            I do have a job, but not a lot of income. I have places to crash but I’d want something more concrete. He’s made me feel like I wouldn’t be happy living anywhere else and that I’d be lonely. Occasionally he will ask to borrow my phone for random reasons and then badger me about things I was searching for or looking at. He goes into my room to “look for stuff” sometimes, but he generally will ask me while I’m at work.


            1. Barbara

              You are more likely to find somewhere concrete to live once you are away from him. It will not magic all right immediately. It will take some time before you feel happy and relaxed again and think.. if you are really so happy living with him you would not be feeling like this. Baby steps. You will also feel afraid for quite sometime after you have left him, don’t let that fear make you think you may as well be back with him. You will feel lost, lonely and unhappy but that is only natural. The parting may have some sort of feeling of bereavement about it, you just need to work through it one day at a time. You can do it.
              You have friends so many people on this site are totally isolated by their narc partner. People with no money and most of all children to consider who feel extremely trapped. You have this site to poor your feelings out to. We are all here for you.
              Regarding the phone, I think they can be made to alert another phone when someone is calling or messaging. Some sort of sharing thing. I believe my narc son uses some sort of system like this to make sure nobody can get to speak to his girlfriend. When I used to try and ring her he would answer and he was miles away at work.
              When you do leave him, or even before, you need to secretly change all your bank and computer passwords.
              In every quiet moment start thinking and plan.


              1. Blaspie

                He actually had an app on his ex-boyfriends phone while they were dating where he could hear all of his conversations and mirror his phone if he was in close proximity. When he told me he was doing that I was mortified, but he justified it as he thought his boyfriend was cheating. That was funny since my roommate was cheating daily but was afraid his boyfriend was cheating.


                1. Barbara

                  God, it gets freaky dealing with narcs doesn’t it. Would you even know if he had an app to eavesdrop on your phone?


                2. Blaspie

                  It’s very strange. He is extremely vengeful to people he claims to care about. He still manages to torture his ex to this day by finding reasons to contact him and invite him over as a friend although he knows the ex is still attached and he has been playing the field. One time he was in a social media fight with an associate and he let it go relatively easy. I asked him why and he said “I don’t care enough about him to actually unleash.” Its so backwards, hurt people you claim to care about and ignore those you don’t./


  8. Kathy

    Blaspie,Barbara is right!
    Get out ASAP and don’t walk, run!!!
    Do you want want to spend the rest of your life like this??
    Ask yourself this question, what am I getting out of this???
    Pain,misery, hurt?That’s not good enough!
    You want to be happy,with somebody that doesn’t put you down and accept you as you are, perfect or imperfect, as you are!
    We’ve all been through this, it’s so damaging emotionally to put up with somebody like that.
    Walk away, be strong, keep to no contact and trust me after the initial hurt and feeling sorry for yourself you’ll be just fine, contented, peaceful and eventually happy!
    Hugs xxx


  9. Carmen

    I came across this article after a friend told he to look up idealization, devaluation, and discarding. My ex pushed me to speak to my kids about our engagement and wanted me to post of Fb even though he blocked me and hid his profile so I can’t see what he posts. I agreed to talk to my kids around the 25th of October feeling something was way off and hoping this would shed light and right after I did he disappears. He’s blocked me and told people I’m stalking him and believes I’ve sent something to his email which allows me to see what he’s doing. If I could see what he was doing on his computer or anywhere else I wouldn’t have been struggling emotionally. I’ve just entered the discarding phase and I’m in shock as I’m sure other people here were. My biggest fear is he will come around and I’ll believe his lies again. I recently found out he was cheating while we were together. I was married for a long time and only had one relationship in my life. This man was my first love and kept in touch with my family through the last 25 plus years, even came to my mothers wake with his wife. Always checking on me and asking me to call him. I did 3 years ago this December and truly felt I found my soul mate. I’m not a trusting person by nature but told him everything as I felt so safe and comfortable. He lived 1100 miles away and in less than a year convinced me to let him move up. In my late forties I had only been intimate with one man. I know this is probably hard for people to believe but nonetheless when we took that step I was hooked and totally lost. My youngest, 19 at the time, said “where has my mom gone?”. How can you be with a smoker who’s so prejudice? You’re one of the most understanding people I know and you despise smoking. I should have listened. I wish I could take my life back overnight as I feel he took it from me. Thank God I didn’t lose my job or home because I had him move out and when he couldn’t get another woman here he moved back to his hometown. He once told me “women here are too smart and make too much money for me”. I didn’t understand that at the time but now it makes sense. I think the new victim has an adolescent daughter and I fear for her but there’s nothing I can do. Thank you for the post and to all who are struggling with a person like this, get out as fast as you can and don’t question your instincts. The fear you feel is real and it is there to warn you that your safety and emotional well being are at stake.


  10. TrixLogan

    I am so glad I found your site. I have been with my husband for 18 years. I went from an intelligent woman, free spirited & social, & strong willed to a loathing human being. It went from the name calling & criticizing, to the squeezing my wrist so hard I cried. The first time I left he grabbed me by the throat and started choking me, and I swear he got off on the panic in my eyes. He knows I have a fear of men due to being hit as a child & sexually assaulted twice. Fast forward, I just decided it was who he was and we would have our honeymoon periods and then the blowup over nothing. He rarely hit me, so I tell myself I am not a battered wife, but he would push me or grab me & call me crude names in front my children. Its coming to an end since the last time he grabbed me and “accidentally” hit me in the face & physically threw me out on my butt after my head bounced off the door in front of my children. I called the cops, but due to my daughter crying, I hung up, so he called & the blame was placed on me & i was forced to leave my home & my kids. So now here I am with no job because he insisted I stay at home with the children, no car, & sleeping on a couch. I am allowed to come over & see my children like I normally would, but it looks like he is up to something sinister. He called 911 and told them I ODed on my pain meds, even though I hadnt taken any in over 18 hours & it was as prescribed, yet when the paramedics came I was unconscious or as the hospital called it, in an altered mental state. I wasn’t feeling well that morning & begged him to take me to the hospital with my little girl, but he said I was just drugged up & left me. He came home to find me passed out on the bathroom floor. The Drs ran their test & saw it was not a drug overdose but I had the white blood cell count of a cancer patient. They kept me overnight, after I had him removed from the hospital, and my cell count magically went down. They called it stress induced and sent me home . Since he told the EMTS it was drugs they put ONE paragraph in my 15 page discharge letter on narcotic abuse & he copied it & sent it to his whole family, but left out the actual diagnosis & the 4 pages on domestic abuse. He says he wants to keep it civil and not get a divorce, avoid court & let me see the children as I want, but I feel like he is setting me up for failure in court & I am going to lose my children because of false accusations & no income or stable home. Part of me thinks he wanted me to die in that bathroom, and part of me is dying because he still has my children & is spewing nasty lies & thoughts into their heads about how mom is doing things because she doesnt love them. Not to mention the ugly things he says to my son & has slapped him in the face. My son is turning into an angry child and I feel like I have failed him because I left without him,but it wasnt my choice .I am at my wits end. I don’t even know what to do anymore. I called my local womens shelter & got an answering machine that didnt work, so I am trying. I am just terrified that I am going to lose the children that I sat at home and solely raised for 13 years & he will finally win. Sorry everyone. I just really needed to vent. Friends tell me I need to stop coming around him because he is going to kill me one day, but it is the only way I can see my children.Just wanted somewhere to share my story & thank you so much for this site


    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      TrixLogan, first of all I want to ask if you are using your real name or is it an alias? If it is your real name I want to change it immediately to something your husband wouldn’t guess.
      Second, you are in grave danger!
      I am sure you do not know this, I didn’t until I started this blog and researching domestic abuse, being choked is one of the first things they ask you to determine if you are in danger of being killed by your abuser. Right up there with “does he have a gun?” My ex choked me also and I didn’t even know it that was considered abuse. crazy when I think back, but we have preconceived notions about what abuse is and if we aren’t being punched in the head and have black eyes or a broken nose we don’t think it is abuse. My ex never left bruises, he probably only punched me a 10 times in as many years, but he choked me (he will deny it and say he just had his hands on my throat) threw me across the room, held me down, chased me around the house, corner me and hover over me with his fist raised. It is all abuse. making you stay home and raise the children was control, you are reliant on him or money, he has isolated you and is manipulating you with the children.
      Unfortunately you have played right into his trap and it is not going to be easy to break away now. I did it too, as do most victims of a narcissist/psychopath, but all is not lost. Don’t give up. Don’t think you can’t get away or that you have no choice but to lose your children. BUT you DO have to start being smart. I understand that it seems too much work now and overwhelming but you can do this.
      First of all you must sit down and write down as many facts and events that you can remember, any witnesses, compile any information you have, MAKE SURE HE DOES NOT KNOW YOU ARE DOING THIS. Find someone you can trust explicitly, your mother, a sister, a dear friend who will not be swayed by him, you need to be believed and you need a safe place to vent and someone who you can trust to tell the whole sordid story to. You are going to need help, even if it is just moral support and to be believed. You can vent here, but it is best if you have someone there in body.
      You have to compile evidence that he is lying and that he has drugged you.
      I have no doubt that he has drugged you and he is building his defense when you OD and die or he will have you declared mentally unstable and unable to mother your children, he may even try to have you committed in a mental institution, (it has happened more than once to women who have come in here) he may try to have you arrested. The nightmare stories I have heard and experienced myself has taught me that you can never predict how evil and vindictive they can be. Do not doubt yourself!!
      Number one thing, your prescription, how many pills did you get, how many have you taken and how many are there left? Can a doctor tell you what would cause your white cell count to change so drastically? Rat poison? anti-freeze? I am not kidding.
      Do not believe he wants this to be friendly, he wants to get rid of you so he doesn’t have to share property or the kids. They may treat the victim like they loath them but they do not want to let the victim go. To them you are their possession and to lose you is losing and they must win at any cost. They can cry real tears and pass lie detector tests but believe me, any emotion you see is practiced act on his part.
      You must stay calm and rational at all times, this is crucial! unfortunately authorities see a woman’s emotions as being unstable and the N is so calm and rational and no doubt he has been building his case against you. You need character references that will testify you are not suicidal or unstable. Anyone who has warned you that he is going to kill you should write down why they feel that way.
      Judges love paperwork, pictures, testimonials, the more the better and if he doesn’t know you are gathering this info all the better, let him think you are oblivious to his plans. whatever you do, do not tell him you think he is a narc, trying to kill you or show your hand in any way. Like I said, it is time to be smart, you have to stay one step ahead of his.
      Him saying you have to stay at the house in order to see the children is ridiculous! Call the woman’s shelter again and keep calling until you get to talk to someone and tell them everything. They will know your local laws better than I. Talk to a lawyer. Open a bank account in another bank that your husband doesn’t know about and get any mail etc sent to a trusted friend or PO box number.
      There is a free download at the top of the blog with a bunch of safety tips, you need a Safety Plan in place in order to get out safely.
      Does your husband go to work? that is the time to take the kids and leave. Don’t worry about furniture, a few clothes and important papers, and your life!
      Once you leave you must go no contact and get a restraining order. Do not let him convince you that he just wants “closure” or “to talk” or that he has stuff of yours he will deliver or you should pick up. I personally know of over 6 women who have been killed by their ex or soon to be ex. The most dangerous time is within two years of the woman leaving the relationship. 70% of domestic homicides happen within that 2 year time span.
      Do not use the home computer, he will be checking to see what you are doing on the net and he is snooping through your purse, papers, trying to keep one step ahead of you. He knows he has evil intentions and assumes you do to.
      Try to not leave him without the kids, it is much harder to get them back and for him to get custody but do it before he gets custody of them, and he will!!
      He may have placed a tracking device on the vehicle, they are impossible to find with the naked eye unless you know what you are looking for and can be attached in a couple of minutes. The phone company may say that you don’t have a tracking app on your cell phone but don’t believe them. Once you leave you would be best to trade vehicles and phone with someone you know or get new ones. All my ex had to do was call my cell and hang up, when I called back (I didn’t recognize his number) and got his voicemail I hung up immediately. But that was all it took, he was able to track me by the GPS on my phone, hear my conversations and see me through the camera.
      My brake line “wore through” 3 times, and the bolts holding the cab onto the frame of my truck were all loosened and the bolts on my wheels. Always keep a spare key to the vehicle hidden and fuel in the tank in case you have to run.
      Well the safety plan gives you lots of good advice so I won’t get into it all here.
      Talk to your childrens teachers IF you are sure they won’t talk to your husband to see if they are having any adverse behavior in school, it would be great if you could get them to a child therapist who would testify your husband has abused your son and the children are suffering because of his abuse.
      I think the first step you have to take is to get yourself and the kids out of there and go into hiding, a safe house where you can take a deep breath and think clearly.
      I am here for you and very concerned!!……..
      Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.


    2. LYNN-H

      When I finally left my abusive husband I left my children there because I believed it would hurt them for me to take them away from their dad. I believed I could see them every day until I got my own place. He changed the locks immediately. I went back two days later because I thought I could just sleep in another room. I called a locksmith to let me in. My ex called the police to get me out. The officer said”He doesn’t want you here so you need to leave.” I figured if it was that important that he had to call the police, I had better leave before he did something worse to me.So I left again. I know some will say I was horrible to not take my children with me. However, he was not mean to them until later. And I was not thinking clearly at that time or for a long time. I know some of you survivors understand not thinking clearly while living with abuse. If anyone does not understand, I cannot help that.


  11. Jayboog

    I disagree with the statement, there is nothing that can make a man hit a woman unless she is coming at him with a knife. I have witnessed my friend being abused by his spouse and out of respect and love for him, I never picked up a bat and beat her ass down myself. The way she speaks to him in private is really, really messed up. She has him isolated bow to just live with her and her family. She manipulated him with her tantrums until he finally gave in and decidrd to move with her into her parent’s house. She is very verbally and mentally and emotionally abusive. She is bipolar and there were times I used to wonder how he kept himself from beating her ass. I am not an advocate for domestic violence but if he would have done it, I wouls have applauded him, because of how abusive this girl is to him. Everything you described in your post about NPD abuse describers her to a “T”.



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